Edward Ayers is an American historian, professor, administrator, and university president. He received a BA in American studies from the University of Tennessee and a doctorate in American studies from Yale University. He taught at the University of Virginia from 1980-2007, where he taught history and was Dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He was awarded the university’s highest honor, the Thomas Jefferson Award, in 2006. The following year he was elected president of the University of Richmond, serving until 2015 when he became the Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities. He has been recognized with the National Humanities Medal and served as the president of the Organization of American Historians. Ayers is the author of six books on the history of nineteenth-century America including The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction, which was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. In the Presence of Mine Enemies, Civil War in the Heart of America won the Bancroft Prize for distinguished writing in American history and the Beveridge Award for the best book in English on the history of the Americas since 1492. The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America, was awarded the Lincoln Prize from the Gilder Lehrman Institute and the Avery O. Craven Award from the Organization of American Historians. Southern Journey: The Migrations of the American South, 1790-2020, narrates the evolution of southern history through the migration of indigenous, white, Black, and immigrant people, with maps created by Justin Madron and Nathaniel Ayers. What Caused the Civil War is a collection of original essays. Ayers co-edited The Oxford Book of the American South and edited America’s War for the American Library Association and the National Endowment for the Humanities.